University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. CRIPA investigation of Wilson County (TN) Jail JC-TN-0008
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
Between June 27 and June 29, 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an investigation of the Wilson County Jail in Lebanon, Tennessee. The investigation was conducted under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA").
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Between June 27 and June 29, 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an investigation of the Wilson County Jail in Lebanon, Tennessee. The investigation was conducted under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA").

In a letter dated April 11, 2007, the DOJ notified Wilson County Jail that the investigation had uncovered a pattern of Eighth Amendment violations at the facility. The jail had denied inmates basic medical care. Corrections officers without medical training routinely made decisions about prisoners' access to medical treatment. The jail failed to screen inmates for medical problems or adequately prevent the spread of infectious diseases, which were exacerbated by unsanitary conditions. The investigation also reported excessive use of force by guards, including the fatal beating of an inmate in 2003—a group of Wilson guards were later convicted in a federal criminal trial—and routine coverups of excessive force by jail management. The letter recommended that the jail cure the constitutional issues by appointing a qualified medical doctor to oversee medical care and develop polices for preventing, reporting, and reviewing incidents of excessive force.

On July 21, 2008, the DOJ reached a settlement agreement with Wilson County Jail. The jail agreed to the DOJ's recommendations regarding the appointment of qualified medical personnel to oversee medical care and the implementation of improved use of force policies. The agreement stipulated that it would terminate in four years or when the facility had demonstrated two years of substantial compliance. The DOJ retained authority to inspect the facility and its records, with the jail to provide regular compliance reports.

According the DOJ's fiscal 2012 CRIPA report, the DOJ ended its supervision of Wilson County Jail on August 6, 2012, after the facility showed substantial compliance with the agreement.

Nathaniel Flack - 02/07/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Hire
Monitoring
Reporting
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
Failure to train
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Record-keeping
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
HIV/AIDS
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Wilson County Jail
Plaintiff Description U.S Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2008 - 2012
Filing Year 2006
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Officials Agree To Cap Population at D.C. Jail
https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2009/feb/15/officials-agree-to-cap-population-at-dc-jail/
Date: February 2009
By: Michael Rigby (Prison Legal News)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Investigation of the Wilson County Jail
JC-TN-0008-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/30/2007
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Settlement Agreement
JC-TN-0008-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/21/2008
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002
Gregg, Tammie (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002
Jung, Je Yon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0001
O'Brien, Paul M. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002
Simons, Shaheena S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002
Simpson, Tammi R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-TN-0008-0002

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